Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Angels take Florida Atlantic first baseman Nolan Schanuel with 1st-round pick

The All-American led Conference USA in every offensive category in his junior year with the Owls.
Erika Fletcher
Stock photo of Nolan Schanuel (center).

On Sunday night, the Los Angeles Angels drafted FAU infielder Nolan Schanuel with the 11th pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. Schanuel becomes the highest selection, and 102nd player in FAU program history to be taken in the MLB Draft.

Last season, Schanuel finished second in the nation in batting average and led Conference USA in nearly every offensive statistic, earning himself All-American honors and a semi-finalist finish for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. 

While Schanuel likes to describe his play style as that of “a ninja,” Keith Law of The Athletic, who had him as the eleventh ranked prospect in the class, described him as one of the most pro-ready prospects that “hit for contact and power at exceptional rates.” 

The Los Angeles Angels have had some bumps in the road leading to the All-Star Break. Two of their big name stars, pitcher Shohei Ohtani and outfielder Mike Trout, were both injured the past week. The Angels are below .500 with a record of 45-46. 

Before FAU

From a little kid who taught himself to hit to being scouted by legendary Palm Beach Coach baseball coach Larry Greenstein in middle school, Nolan was always used to the spotlight.

When Nolan attended Park Vista Community High School in Lake Worth, Fl., he immediately wanted to try out for varsity and was able to make it on the team.

“Growing up, everybody dreamed about going to Park Vista High School and I was fortunate enough to be in the county, registered for it,” Schanuel said. Playing for Greenstein was very thrilling and beneficial for Schanuel, as Nolan grew up going to the high school games and seeing the Palm Beach County coaching legend and the Park Vista Cobras. Schanuel praises Greenstein as “one of the best I ever played for.”

Greenstein spoke about the young Boca Raton baseball phenom and how he compared to another Park Vista alumni, Trea Turner.

“I think that Trea could do so many things because of his speed and he had great awareness also. But Nolan was probably the best pure hitter that I’ve ever had.”

In his senior year at Park Vista, Schanuel recorded stats well above the national average. Per MaxPreps, his batting average was .524; his on-base percentage was .676; he had seven hits, nine runs, and 10 home runs. 

Florida Atlantic

Joining the Owls in his freshman year, Schanuel has started every game he played in during his three years there.  

“I would say the biggest adjustment for me was the amount of games we played in high school in our senior year compared to the amount of games I played in my freshman year,” said Schanuel on the transition from playing during a shortened season due to Covid to playing a full season. “But once I made that easy adjustment playing summer ball, the games got shorter, it didn’t feel as long, and it just felt more normal as the years got by.”

Schanuel has gradually improved every season he’s played in: improving his home runs, RBIs and batting average. In his final year with the Owls, Schanuel had a career-high 19 home runs, 64 RBIs, 88 hits, 70 runs, .868 slugging percentage, 71 walks, and .615 on-base percentage. He also had a career-low 14 strikeouts.

“Once I got to college, I kind of took the role of a leader and I would say I definitely progressed in hitting, unlocking that power. I had zero home runs in high school,” said Schanuel on his improvement from high school to college.

This past baseball season, Schanuel led the nation in on-base percentage and OPS, and was second in batting average and slugging percentage.

Schanuel is the highest draft prospect coming from Florida Atlantic since Gabriel Rincones, Jr., who was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the third round in the 2022 MLB Draft. 

We have a collaborative coaching style that allows the young men to be part of the process and learn themselves, as a player,” said McCormack. “We give them the permission to be great, we don’t hold them back.”

McCormack says he saw a great hitter and “had an advanced approach for a young player.” 

“He’s the best coach I’ve ever had, telling me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear,” Schanuel said of Coach McCormack, who goes by the nickname “Coach Mac.”

Teammates have also praised Schanuel, including catcher Caleb Pendleton and Christian Adams.

“Nolan and I have been close friends for a long time growing up together,” said Pendleton. “He’s always been there for me and we have had so much fun throughout our years at FAU. He is a team guy that will do what it takes to help the team succeed.”

“As a teammate, he’s very determined and he’s a competitor. Someone on the team everyone wants to be around,” said junior infielder Christian Adams on Nolan as a teammate.

Schanuel will be following the footsteps of last year’s 93rd overall pick Gabriel Rincones, Jr., 2018’s 56th overall pick Tyler Frank, and 2016’s 51st overall pick C.J. Chatham as the most recent Owls players turned pro.

Above all of his monumental statistics from high school and college, Nolan would like to end his professional career being remembered as “a good person.”

Maddox Greenberg is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM via Twitter @MaddoxGreenberg and Instagram @maddoxblade04.


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About the Contributors
Maddox Greenberg
Maddox Greenberg, Sports Editor
Maddox started writing sports for the UP in Summer 2022 with the intention of improving his journalistic writing. He is a sophomore majoring in multimedia journalism and plans on becoming a sports broadcaster. He is a broadcaster for FAU Owl Radio.
Erika Fletcher
Erika Fletcher, Lead Photographer
Erika is a senior majoring in multimedia studies with a minor in photography. She loves shooting sports and street photography and in her free time, she enjoys drawing, skateboarding, playing soccer, listening to music, and being with her friends and family. She joined the UP on a whim to make new friends and to get better at photography. In her time here, while not long, she's made connections and learned so much about herself already and can't wait to continue her journey with such great people.

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